#130 Pathway to Becoming a Pilot: Admissions and Career Insights with Penny Linsenmayer

In this episode, Lisa and Penny discuss:

  • Different pathways for your teen to become a pilot 
  • The unique college application process for professional flight majors.
  • Planning for unexpected costs with the path to aviation.
  • Medical requirements and certifications that help and hinder potential pilots.

Key Takeaways:

  • Your student can fly solo by age 16 and earn their private pilot license at age 17.
  • If your student majors in professional flight at a university or community college, they will be able to get their license with fewer flying hours by having done the FAA-approved curriculum through a college program.
  • Flying is not for everybody – not everyone is comfortable in small planes or even in the air. Figure out if your teen can handle it before applying to professional flight majors.
  • ADHD, wearing corrective lenses, or colorblindness are not immediate disqualifiers, but they can complicate the medical approval process requiring a longer amount of time
  • Start early! This is a pathway that requires a lot of additional time, steps, and expense.


Make sure that you can get a class one medical. The college programs are all going to require you to show up with a class one medical or evidence that you can get it. You have to have that to fly commercially, and colleges don’t want you investing a ton of time and money in a degree that’s never going to pan out for you on the career side.” – Penny Linsenmayer


About Penny Linsenmayer:

Penny is an independent educational consultant based in Texas. She’s the co-founder of Pathway Admissions, LLC and is a professional member of IECA, a member of IECA’s Subcommittee on Affordability, and a member of NACAC and TACAC. Her niche areas of specialization include a focus on affordability and aviation admissions.

Penny co-moderates the Facebook group “Raising Aviation Teens” and through work with her own son (currently a professional pilot major), she developed deep knowledge about both aviation admissions and the various pathways to a career in commercial aviation. The admissions process for professional flight programs in universities changes frequently and diverges in some significant ways from the typical process. An increasing number of college flight programs operate on a very accelerated timeline for both application submissions and deposits. Often housed at public universities that are not otherwise particularly competitive for admissions, professional flight major applicants often need a stronger academic profile and should take care to highlight aviation interest in their overall application.


Episode References:


Get Lisa’s Free on-demand video: How-to guide for your teen to choose the right major, college, & career…(without painting themselves into a corner, missing crucial deadlines, or risking choices you both regret).



Connect with Penny:

Instagram: instagram.com/pathwayadmissions

Facebook: facebook.com/pathwayadmissions

Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/RaisingAviationTeens

Website: pathwayadmissions.com

Email: penny@pathwayadmissions.com


Connect with Lisa:

Website: flourishcoachingco.com

YouTube: youtube.com/@flourishcoachingco

Instagram: instagram.com/flourishcoachingco

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/flourish-coaching-co

Access the episode transcript here